It’s not a secret that I am married to my third husband. He’s quite nice, we enjoy our life together in many ways and thanks to this marriage I have acquired a relatively new skill. That has been due to the fact that my dirty little secret throughout all these marriages is that I have not known how to do the wash. There you go. A grown woman, nearly into retirement, who didn’t know how to do laundry.
They say admitting there is a problem is the first step. Quite frankly, I didn’t think it was a problem. I had a rather basic approach to washing clothes: wad up a bunch of them, throw them in a wash machine, dump in something that would turn into suds and hope for the best. It didn’t seem that hard. Au contraire, mes amies! (My French is better than my laundry skills).
Apparently there are RULES about doing laundry. It’s clique-ish, like junior high. Certain clothes will only go with certain clothes otherwise they run. I had thought they would run out of the washer, perhaps into the dryer, but that’s not what happens. What they meant was that clothes have to be SEPARATED by color, fabric type and some other things I can’t remember. Then the APPROPRIATE laundry detergent has to be administered and in the correct amount. New information:  one does not put dish soap or shampoo in the washing machine in an effort to clean clothes.
Let me just say a few words about bleach here. I have been forbidden to have bleach because it’s not to be used as an all-purpose sort of cleaner. I was confused on that point. Turns out, it makes stains and holes in things if it’s used too often or if too much is put in with the laundry load. (That’s a new term for me). So I spent years blissfully ignorant of laundry compendium and my clothes were getting clean.
That’s how this story gets to husband Number 3. During a somewhat heated discourse about who knows what, I uttered something to the effect of “Fine then, I’ll do my own laundry.” He has not touched it since. Weeks went by while I shopped for new, clean clothes. Who thought he would listen to me about such nonsense.
Finally, I had to face facts. I would have to do my own laundry! Shopping is often an answer, so I went. Not for new clothes, but for clothes cleaning artifacts. Did you know there is an aisle in the grocery store that has scores of soap products meant specifically for washing clothes? They are called laundry detergents and many have exorbitant claims to cleanliness, softliness, spotliness, you name it. The one I chose is blue and smells good. I had also seen this one in television commercials advertised by a man in a white tuxedo who is doing laundry. Because I had always thought that men do laundry, this seemed like a logical choice. I brought it home. I read the directions! Separating various colors of clothes, I put some in the washing machine. I pushed buttons that I had seen my husband push. The clothes came out clean! I am now doing my own laundry! Can I get an amen!
It’s been weeks now. The clothes get separated, put in the washing machine and come out clean. I read the directions on the bottle of detergent every time and put some, not too much, in the washer and the clothes come out clean and fresh. I am a clothes washing genius!  I certainly hope that no one tells me I can’t dry my clothes in the micro-wave.